Adam Gase: The Worst Playcaller in the NFL

When the Buffalo Bills took the lead for the first time with 1:20 left, I was already preparing this blog, ready to state (and to prove) that Adam Gase is simply an awful playcaller.    We all knew that the Dolphins were going to lose.  We all knew it.

But then after the Dolphins completed the miracle victory, I hesitated for a minute.  We won the game, so obviously Gase wasn’t so bad, right?

Wrong!  Very, very wrong.   Adam Gase is the worst, win or lose.

On a day when Mr. Jay Ajayi AVERAGED over 6 yards per carry, Adam Gase didn’t want to use him.   When we led by 14 and could have put the game early, Gase kept calling pass plays.   When we had the ball with 4 minutes left and a 4-point lead, Gase kept calling pass plays.    When Kenyan Drake stepped up his game and proved he belongs as an NFL running back, Adam Gase kept calling passing plays.  When (fill in the blank here), Gase kept calling pass plays.

Adam Gase abandoned the run when we needed it most.  Again.  As always.  He simply doesn’t get it.

He has ZERO perception of what is working.

80,000 Bills fans understood that the Bills D could not stop Ajayi.  53 Dolphins and 53 Bills also knew it.  Dolfans worldwide knew it.   Jay Ajayi certainly knew it.   The one man who refused to know it:  Adam Gase.

Maybe (just maybe) if Matt Moore were having the passing game of his life, I could understand Gase’s obsession with pass plays.  But Moore was playing like a pig.   Maybe (just maybe) I could understand Gase’s obsession with pass plays if Jay Ajayi and his linemen were playing poorly.  But they were studly all game long.   Maybe (just maybe) I could understand Gase’s obsession with pass plays if Jay Ajayi’s backup was in the game and you don’t trust the backup.   But Kenyan Drake was huge all game long.

I’ve run out of maybes.   There are none left.   No reasons or scenarios or situations where Gase should say “I don’t think a rushing play will work here.”  No reasons at all.

Even basic football 101 dictates that with a late lead, it’s not only safer, but it’s correct, to just hand the ball off.   In the Dolphins’ case, it’s not just handing off to some slouch.  You’d be handing off to a guy who’d been pretty much unstoppable all game long.

In our chatroom, even the usual guys who think I like Ajayi too much were on my bandwagon.   Matt Moore fans and Matt Moore haters, and pretty much the whole wide world, was in agreement:   We need to keeping handing it off.

I think Gase’s obsessions and his many many errors stem from listening to too many pundits or something.  The old incorrect adages like “You have to throw passes to keep the defense honest” and crap like that.   Gase buys into it like no one else I’ve ever seen in my years of covering the NFL.   Not even Joe Philbin was stupid enough to move away from a hot hand.  Especially a red hot hand like Jay Ajayi.   It took a month–four long games–for Ajayi to find his groove again, and once he found it, he got to sit back and watch Matt Moore throw grounders and interceptions.

Dolphin reporters with access to Gase must stop kissing his ass and worshipping him for changing the culture.   Instead, they need to ask, “Why the hell would you call for three straight passes with 4 minutes left and the lead, while your running back is walking through them for 6 yards a pop?”  Or “The handoff to Ajayi were incredibly effective today, so why did you keep trying that sorry screen pass to Landry that has worked exactly zero times this year.” OR “Why on earth would you call for a pass play right before halftime when you had a chance to punch it in with Ajayi?”

As usual, Gase will have his same sickening reply, “Yeah, maybe I should have called better plays.”  And after he says that, reporters need to follow up and grill him some more.  I don’t think reporters and fans should have to teach a professional coach a lesson, but in Gase’s case, he needs it.

Adam Gase thinks that running the Dolphins is like coaching a pee-wee squad where the league forces you to play everyone.  There’s always one kid who’s a ton better than the rest, but you don’t want to embarrass the other team all the time, so you let your scrubs play.   In that atmosphere, there are good reasons to not use your best players and your best plays.  But not in the NFL.

If only Adam Gase knew that.




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  1. @Admin
    Take a deep breath my friend!

    1) I didn’t know that we were going to lose and in the Chat with about 2:35 left and the Bills driving I told everyone to calm down that we would end up with the ball back with 2:00 left (We actually only had about 1:10 left I think but it was enough) and as long as Moore didn’t throw a INT we would have a shot. So we didn’t ALL know the Dolphins were going to lose.

    I say that because there is a bigger issue here and it cuts through the heart of your premise about Gase being the worst play caller in the NFL. You only need to remember back to this preseason when we had a whole new coaching staff (almost all of which was unproven) and we still were not sure if Tannehill would actually be a solid QB and NO ONE was giving the Dolphins much more than a .500 season for 2016! Look where we are today and with one of the Harder schedules in the NFL. Starting 3 games on the road and drawing Seattle and NE for the first two games? Come on!

    What is fascinating is that if we had won one of those two games (Which with this team now and the healthy players who were active those games still active we probably do win one) we would be sitting on 11 wins right now.

    So your probably wondering when do I start dissecting your comments about playcalling right?

    I don’t need to. At some point all Gase has to do is point to his record, especially with the crap team he has. This is not a 10 or 11 win roster, nowhere close with this defensive backfield. Yet here we are sitting at 10 wins.

    “You are what your record says you are.” and right now Gase’s record is screaming that he is a winner.

    Now Gase ran 39 times and threw 30 times and Ajayi had over 200 yards again so runs were getting called. I just seemed to us again that he should have chewed up the clock some and he could have used Ajayi to do that but didn’t – Again!

    Well, guess what? Maybe were wrong!

    You said it yourself, “Not even Joe Philbin was stupid enough to move away from a hot hand.” Well, what was Philbin’s best record here and where is he coaching now?

    Gase was a winner in Denver, Chicago and now here!

    We may not like or understand his methods but look at the result!


    I wrote the last sentence in all caps so you can easily spot it and go back and read it again and again.

    It sounds so sweet!

    Gase won’t win Coach of the year, that’s going to go to the media darling Jason Garrett but no one has done so much with so little.

    It may not be pretty and it certainly isn’t conventional but Gase is calling a winning season and he’s going to get us right into the Playoffs.

    One thing I really loved about this game was that at the end Gase was livid. I’m not sure about what but Tony Sparano would have been fist pumping and celebrating for a week. It looks to me like Gase is all business.

    I love it!

    1. Well, Chicago wasn’t a winner, and Denver wasn’t a winner until after Gase left. But I respect your point about everything else. Pretty damn good to be 4-1 in our division. At worst we’ll finish 4-2, and that is a vast improvement from Philbin!

      1. Well I guess with Chicago and Denver I was thinking since he was the QB coach and his QB’s played well I was going with that but I don’t intimately know the details of his coaching in those places other then his QB’s played well.

        I will be chomping at the bit to get to next year! If we can get a center (Maybe ship Pouncy out for a low pick) and two more OLmen and then just stock the back end of that defense this team is going to compete!

        1. @Admin

          How sweet (improbable as it may be) would it be to beat NE here next week!

          1. N.E. has something to play for. Exact same scenario as last year. They need to win to clinch #1 overall. They took it easy on us last Week 17. I don’t expect the same. But we’re not the same Dolphins as last year either. Should be a good one. I think I’ll be there.

            1. @admin

              I’m thinking the same thing! Wouldn’t it be so sweet to beat them and have the best division record! Give them notice were coming next year!

      2. Look,we have TWICE the wins as last season with the same crap players. Gase needs to get some credit for that.

  2. He made 3 bad calls,all passes, with 4 minutes remaining and throwing into the end zone at the end of the 1st half with lame DoorMatt Moore. So 4 bad calls.We can’t stop anybody-600 yards in 5 quarters. SHIT! The fooking Jills.
    I guess you missed Gase’s RUN CALL that won the game for us at the end.Yes THAT Ajayi run of 57 yards. So 4 bad calls that could have cost us the game,but thankfully didn’t.

  3. Get over your hate for Gase. We’re winning games in December. Sound familiar? Me either.
    Regarding Ajayi-” “Like come on,” Buffalo safety Corey Graham said in frustration. “I’ve never been part of anything like that. I’ve never seen anything like that. I don’t get it.”
    And the clueless Ryan,””Obviously, this is a rough night,” Ryan said. “I’ll let my reputation stand for what it is and you can challenge it all you want.” Your reputation is you are a POS as a head coach and your career record is UNDER .550. But another idiot owner will pay you to be an even bigger loser! And your idiot brother who can’t coach defense.
    And the idiot TV announcers who couldn’t stop taking about ALL of the Jills injuries-fcuk them! Every team has injuries. And fcuk DoorMatt Moore!

    1. Yes thank God Gase had the presence of mind to tone Moore down on the last few drive to avoid the pick.

    2. Now if only Gase would say F Doormatt! LOL

  4. Guys he isn’t saying gase is a bad head coach, he’s saying he makes bad calls at the worst time. And honestly even though I’ve defended gase all year in this game the play calling was pretty bad at the most crucial times. That awful reverse play, then a bubble screen are you kidding me? Gase is a good head coach he has changed the culture but that doesn’t mean he is perfect.

  5. Denver needs to win its final two games to make the postseason and Baltimore is eliminated from the wild-card race and can only make the playoffs as the AFC North champion.

  6. Fooking hilarious: It didn’t help that Ryan revealed the Bills only had 10 players on the field when Ajayi took off in overtime. No one took into account that cornerback Stephon Gilmore was pulled from the game and placed in concussion protocol.
    Clueless coaching from the Ryan duo.

    1. Really, Karma? I didn’t see that discussion but I believe you!!

      1. Yep.. I just re-ran that play !! 10 men on the field. We’ll take it

  7. Nobody said Gase is perfect but he’s a damn-sight better than we’ve had lately. Hopefully he’ll look back after the season and see what he’s done and fix it. Hopefully.

  8. By the way, I’ll have another post soon about how great our O-line did (zero sacks allowed), and how bad the D did. We were laughing in the chat room about Vance Joseph thinking he is head coach material!!!
    PLUS….the huge, lucky thing that the refs missed…Jarvis Landry had yet another boneheaded 15-yard penalty, and thank God the refs missed it !!!! More to come…

    1. Moore rarely gets sacked ……fast decisions, fast release!!!!!!!!

    2. I wish we could swap offensive lines with Buffalo. We’d be talking about Ajayi having a 300 yard game instead!

    1. Jay, I hope to see you write that the next 6 weeks in a row !

    2. Pretty sure miami won inspite of Matt Moore today may because of him

  9. If Miami wants to do anything in the playoffs this year they better fix that pass defense. Just stop running man to man when your asking Michael Thomas to cover Charles clay. He got burnt over and over again and dumbass Vance didn’t do anything about it. If it wasn’t for suhhhh batting that pass down Miami prolly loses this game.

    1. That, plus the Bills ran a reverse to an ice cold Reggie Bush when the other RBs were destroying us. A huge loss took them out of TD range, and they had to settle for a FG attempt. Thank you Reggie. Thank you Carpenter. Thank you Rex !!

      1. Yea I thought we got away with a facemask on that one but it helped a lot.

  10. @Zach

    They didn’t fare much better in zone eather and I saw three different zone defenses they tired. One thing I keep screaming for is to knock these receivers a little bit especially in the endzone to disrupt their timing.

    Today it wasn’t as big a deal as Thyroid isn’t a real timing passer like Brady is next week.

  11. @admin

    Wouldn’t it be refreshing to see a new play or two every week rather then some of the same old crappy sad excuse for a screen to Laundry out in the flat behind two receivers who completely wiff on their blocks leaving Laundry to be crushed by the opponents entire 53 man roster before the ball even gets to him?

    Someone needs to sneak into Gase’s office and take that play off of his card!

  12. @ Brian it’s scary to think of what tom Brady will do to this defense next week. Matt Moore better show up or the playoffs better already be clinched.

    1. @Zach-it may be a mercy killing and they call it at HT.

    2. @Zach

      We matched up pretty good against there OL last time. I will admit that was a lifetime ago but this DL last year matched up with their OL well also. On top of that there is something about Brady and South Florida this time of year that makes him not play his best ball against maimi.

      I expect Gase to have this team ready and I expect them to play NE tough. Playing at home is a lot different then playing on the road for the Dolphins. It has been for many years. Lets hope for high 90’s and put NE in their dark tights for the game!

      1. Also usually once Wake and Suh hits Brady a time or two he seems to lose his Superman cape!

  13. So let me get this straight. A rookie NFL head coach is making a lot of mistakes? Unheard of. I’m starting to think the admin is really Joe Philbin posing as an irate Dolphins fan. Lol! And I totally agree with Brian M. Gase could star in Now you See Me 3 because getting ten wins out of this roster, with this schedule, was basically a magic act. Especially with all the injuries to key players.

  14. So let me get this straight. A rookie NFL head coach is making a lot of mistakes? Unheard of. I’m starting to think the admin is really Joe Philbin posing as an irate Dolphins fan. Lol! And I totally agree with Brian M. Gase could star in Now you See Me 3 because getting ten wins out of this roster, with this schedule, was basically a magic act. Especially with all the injuries to key players.

    1. So its Rick James that posts under Anonymous

  15. It seems that every single third down we pass it. Even third and one or two Gase calls a pass.

  16. I’m just happy to be talking about the Dolphins in a positive way in December. That nonsense usually runs dry by the second week of September.

  17. I’m not going to ride Gase out of town as he’s 100% better than philbin. I think that he overthinks things at times which leads him to pass when he could go to the well a few more times. Lots of coaches do this but at least he’s getting better after all he called more runs today than passes. He’s willing to take the blame which I believe takes more balls just as long as he corrects it in the future.

    The screens aren’t working well but I think that he wants to drive it in so eventually they will work as you do need them to slow down a passrush.

    Franks scares the fuck out of me but after that kick I will back off. That was nuts….. I’m not even sure if Gase called a pass at the end of the first half as he looked pissed after. If anything the play was supposed to go short and take 3. Moore just loves to rip it which can be ok but not under those circumstances.

    Someone needs to explain to Williams about game situations he almost cost them a few times. Tell the dude you go out of bounds or go down in the huddle. I like his effort but damn he almost cost them two weeks in a row.

    Need to give Drake more touches and Ajayi a little more rest. I think that it will make them both better.

    They need Maxwell badly as they simply don’t have enough depth back there yet. He also helps in the tackling…

    Mario was garbage I’d rather see Jordan out there at least he can help on special teams. Just a pylon.

    Hopefully KC wins as they could use the rest. Getting healthy is bigger than having to play in Pitt.

  18. Here’s wishing a Happy and Healthy Holidays to all my fellow Fin fans!!

  19. Tell me something Admin….when Gase made that ballsy call to try a 55yrd field goal attempt with just twenty something seconds left on the clock, were you or were you not in awe of that call?

    1. It was the only call to make. No awe needed.

      1. Um yeah, sure….don’t talk as if you absolutely “knew” that Gase was going to make that call.

    2. Phil, I was surprised, so I give Gase a lot of credit. I was trying to think fast as the clock wound down….I knew it was fourth down. so a spike was out of the question. I thought, “man, I hope Matt Moore realizes it’s fourth down, not third.” Sometimes, you forget about the spike on first down. So I was thinking, Okay, we gotta pick up the first down here, now or never, and all of a sudden I see Franks jogging out. I feel the FG attempt was the right call, so I don’t praise Gase for calling it. However, I do praise him for being on top of everything, with a million things all going on at once and having to analyze the game/down/distance situation we were in. He calmly got it all done, and we’re in the playoffs because of that call.

  20. Happy holidays and merry Christmas to admin and all fellow dolphinstruth readers!! Thanks for giving me a place to vent about Miami without being attacked by a million trolls.

  21. Imagine Ajayi with Buffalo offensive line! He would be approaching 2k yards instead of 1300.

  22. Dolphins players weigh in on a Bills linebacker head-butting their coach: The Buffalo Bills went into Saturday’s game against the Dolphins hoping to not only put a dent in Miami’s playoff chances, but aiming to save Rex Ryan’s job. Unfortunately, they were unable to do either with Ryan’s seat heating up even more than it already was and the Dolphins nearly locking up a postseason berth.
    They didn’t go out without a fight, though – (almost) literally.
    After a long kickoff return by Jakeem Grant, the two teams got into a bit of a scuffle. Jerry Hughes, however, went a bit too far. He appeared to head-butt Dolphins special teams coach Darren Rizzi.
    Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake said this of the situation after the game.
    “We were making enough plays where they really didn’t have anything they could say on the field,” Drake said, via the Miami Herald. “Whatever edge they need — head-butting our coaches — if that’s what they’re trying to do, by all means.”
    Dolphins defensive end Andre Branch says he didn’t see the incident, but acted like he wouldn’t be surprised if it did happen.
    “I didn’t see it, [but] that’s part of the NFL,” he said. “No matter what it takes, do what you’ve got to do.”
    Hughes wasn’t flagged for his actions, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be fined or disciplined for it by the league – especially considering his history. Against the Bengals this season, he head-butted Jake Fisher. And just last year, he did the same to Giants tackle Ereck Flowers.

  23. One thing that hasnt been mentioned was our pass interference in the end zone. Missed totally by the refs! 🙂 I love when we wreck “Wrecks Ryan’s” day and Christmas for that matter.

    1. Posted by “SEAN” and not “Phinsup.” Not sure how that populated.

      1. Its a weird thing with site cookies. Yes this is the real PhinsUp. And its happened to me with someone elses name appearing when i post. But i like what you posted so i will take credit for it.

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